Local ruling could bar Airbnb, other short-term rentals in Lafayette neighborhoods

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — Lafayette’s Board of Zoning Adjustment is set to decide next week whether local zoning rules permit short-term rentals, like Airbnb, to operate in residential neighborhoods. 

The potentially fateful decision could impact some 300 Airbnb and other short-term rental listings in the city of Lafayette, based on data from AirDNA, a short-term rental market research company.

The board’s ruling, planned for April 8, could firmly define for the first time whether those rentals can be operated in areas zoned for single-family residential use, which cover many of the city’s neighborhoods. 

Currently, the Lafayette Development Code does not address short-term rentals at all, an ambiguity that Mayor-President Josh Guillory’s administration has twice tried and failed to address with Lafayette’s City Council.

Instead, LCG’s Development and Planning Department has used that ambiguity to greenlight Airbnbs and the like to operate in single-family zones since they aren’t expressly prohibited by the Lafayette Development Code.

Some neighbors want Airbnbs gone

But neighbors of one such rental in Lafayette’s Saint Streets neighborhood are looking to the Board of Zoning Adjustment to close that loophole and make short-term rentals prohibited in single-family zoned neighborhoods after a series of complaints against a local Airbnb operation. 

Forty neighbors of a short-term rental unit on Poinsetta Drive have been engaged in a years-long dispute with Bass Family Properties after parties, a wedding and a film shoot at the property, according to neighbor Charles Langlinais. 

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